37d9767Joan Ablett is an international development communications consultant who specializes in designing and implementing strategic project communications and outreach plans for projects ranging from climate change, energy and environment to education, economic growth and food security. Ms. Ablett also works with project teams and their communications managers to design social behavior change campaigns that win target audience buy-in necessary for project programs to achieve their goals. For related Congressional outreach, she designs and writes advocacy materials, from more accessible “report summaries” to project overviews. She is an oral presentation coach, working with potential CoP and other candidates for donor interviews.

She is skilled at building capacity of local field communications staff through training, coaching, and mentoring, as she has done in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Asia, and Eastern Europe. As a coach, she prepares Chiefs of Party for oral presentations, best practices when working with USAID Missions and media training.

She offers extensive experience in “translating” technical documents and reports into accessible English, and developing related on-line or print materials, based on technical materials and/or expert interviews.

At Engility/RG, she led a multi-faceted external communications strategy for the company’s public sector client base from March, 2005-December, 2012. She has overseen numerous USAID-funded communications activities and from 2003-2005, ran USAID Afghanistan’s outreach initiatives in Kabul. Ms. Ablett managed media relations for Save the Children, frequently dealing with crisis communications in post-conflict countries like Rwanda and Haiti.

Juan AlsaceJuan A. Alsace is a career Senior Foreign Service Officer with 30 years of service.  Prior to assuming his current position in August 2015, Mr. Alsace was an Assistant Professor at the National Defense University (Eisenhower College, 2014-2015).  He was previously Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Chief of the War Crimes, Democracy and Human Rights Division in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.  His return to Washington service followed several years of overseas postings, including in Iraq as Team Leader of an embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (2009-2010), Economic and Political Counselor in Santiago, Chile (2006-2009), and Consul General in Barcelona, Spain (2003-2006).

(U) Mr. Alsace is a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College (2003).  He has also served in Istanbul, Turkey as Deputy Principal Officer (1999-2002) and in several other Washington assignments, including  as desk officer for Lebanon and for Kazakhstan, as a staff assistant to the NEA Assistant Secretary, and as Pearson Fellow in the officer of Senator Russell Feingold, who was then on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.  Mr. Alsace has also been posted to Karachi, Santo Domingo, and Quito.

(U) Originally from Buffalo, NY, Mr. Alsace is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and obtained his law degree from the University of Minnesota.  He practiced law for three years before joining the Foreign Service.  Mr. Alsace has received several State Department Awards, including three Superior Honor Awards and four Meritorious Honor Awards.  He is married to Nancy, a nurse practitioner, and has two children.  He speaks Spanish and remembers a few useful Turkish phrases.

miloud-chennoufiMiloud Chennoufi teaches international relations at the Canadian Forces College (Toronto) where he chairs the Department of Security and International Affairs. He has a diploma (Baccalaureate) in Economic Sciences from the Université d’Alger and a Master of Business Administration, with a major in Theory of Organizations, from the École des hautes études commerciales of Montreal (HEC Montréal) and a PhD from the Université de Montréal. From 2000 to 2006, he taught Management and Sociology of Organizations at HEC Montréal and Political Thinking at the Université de Montréal. In the 1990s, he was a political and economic journalist in Algeria. His areas of interest include the theory of international relations, political theory, and the geopolitics of the Middle-East. Dr. Chennoufi published his first book in 2003 titled Grandes puissances et islamisme, which gathers, in addition to its namesake study, some articles on International Security and Economic Development, as well as political essays. In 2013, he co-edited a volume on strategic studies, Les études stratégiques au XIXe siècle.

ron-prueseenRonald W. Pruessen is Professor of History at the University of Toronto.  He has served as Chair of the Department of History and Director for International Partnerships & Research at the Munk School of Global Affairs.  Early work on 20th century U.S. foreign policy focused on the Cold War (e.g., John Foster Dulles: To the Threshold, 1888-1952), but he has ranged more broadly over the years.  Recent work includes Soraya Castro and Ronald W. Pruessen, eds., Fifty Years of Revolution: Perspectives on Cuba, the United States, and the World – as well as blog contributions to the London School of Economics US Institute website. He is currently writing The Ahab Syndrome: The Quest for American Predominance in the 21st Century, a book setting the Bush and Obama presidencies into the context of long-established U.S. foreign policy traditions.



Annie DemirjianAnne Demirjian was appointed the Director of Glendon School of Public & International Affairs, York University. From 2014-2015, she was the Director of Political Affairs & Mediation Group at the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). She was responsible for the peace building and state building portfolio, including: military/civilian interface & stabi-lization, political reform, state formation (federal/state), conflict prevention & local rec-onciliation and constitutional review. From 2004-2013, working with the UN Missions in the field, she headed UNDP’s Democratic Governance portfolio in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Eastern European countries & Central Asia. At UNDP-Iraq (2004-2007), Somalia (2008-2009) and Libya (2011-2012) she was responsible for transitional administration, the constitution drafting process, elections, institutional development and capacity building, public administration reform, local governance and civil society development. In 2010, she was seconded to Haiti to lead the Post Disaster Needs Assessment for the UNDP/World Bank after the earthquake in Haiti.

Anne has 20 years of senior management experience, in policy and programming, with the Federal Government of Canada (central agencies/line departments, including at the Security Intelligence & Review Committee (SIRC). For the United Nations and the World Bank she also worked in the following countries: Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine Zimbabwe, South Africa and Nigeria.